Getting to the bottom of your pet’s itchy ear problem
One of the most common reasons for veterinary exams for dogs and cats is for the presence of ear inflammation, otherwise known as otitis externa. Common symptoms of otitis externa include shaking of the head, itching of the ears, as well as the development of redness, swelling and/or odor and discharge of the ears. The condition may present on one or both sides, and may fluctuate between the left and right ears.
When any of these symptoms are present to a significant degree, it may be best to have the animal evaluated by your veterinarian. The presence of dirty or waxy ears may appear as brown, black or yellow discharge, and can usually be differentiated from ear mites or ear infection by evaluating the discharge under the microscope. Evaluation of the discharge in this manner can usually differentiate ear mites, from yeast or bacterial overgrowth, as well as the presence of innocent dirty wax buildup. Such a microscopic exam will typically determine the course of treatment, based on the results of this simple and quick test done in the veterinary office.
Products such as Zymox Otic HC are excellent options to reduce wax and/or yeast/staph overgrowth in the ear canals. It is important for veterinarians to search for underlying causes of otitis externa, whether it be ear mites, allergies, or hormonal disorders, as otherwise ear problems may persist or relapse.